Shielding the Mountains addresses poignant questions: Why have Tibetans become environmentalists? How do Tibetan conceptions of nature differ from Western ones? What is the relationship between culture and nature?
Shielding the Mountains explores these questions through a narrative that features Rinchen Samdrup, the leader of a Tibetan community environmental association in a remote area of Chamdo in the eastern Tibet Autonomous Region, and Tashi Dorje, a leading Tibetan environmentalist in China who first became interested in conservation after the death of a good friend at the hands of Tibetan antelope poachers. Viewers learn about the formation of coalitions of Chinese and Tibetan environmentalists that make Rinchen’s work possible, as well as about the religious, cultural, and personal motivations for Tibetan environmentalism, and its basis in a particular understanding of the landscape, of what “nature” is, and why it should be protected.
|Title: Shielding the Mountains
Running time: 20 minutes
Year of release: 2010
Language of dialogue and subtitles: Tibetan and Chinese; English subtitles
Topics: Environmental movements, indigenous knowledge, Tibet/China, culture and nature
Credits: Produced by Emily Yeh; Directed by Kunga Lama; Written by Emily Yeh; Narration by Giulia Bernardini; Post production manager Djuna Zupanicic; Edited by Jeff Lodas and Djuna Zupancic; Graphics by Djuna Zupancic; Audio Mix by Wind over the Earth, Jason Mcdaniel, Jesse Zimmerman; Camera operators Kunga Lama, Chime Namgyal, Rinchen Samdrup, Emily Yeh; Funded by National Geographic and National Science Foundation. Contact Us for a copy of the film.Click here for a PDF copy of a study guide.